Cynthia “Nikki” Glover turned 21 just two days before her mother, Geanna Jones, disappeared in November of 2000. The mother of six celebrated with her oldest, but didn’t stay long. It was the last time Nikki saw her mother.
Geanna Jones was 36 years old when she disappeared without a trace. She hasn’t been seen or heard from in two decades, but Nikki, along with some of her family, have never given up their search for her, or for answers.
“It’s been 20 years and we still don’t have answers,” Nikki told Dateline. “We just want to know what happened to her.”
Nikki and her younger sister, Cortney Jones, spoke to Dateline, and described their mother’s story as a “hard story, happy ending” prior to her disappearance.
“It’s no secret that our mom had a rough life. And that she was on drugs for years,” Nikki explained. “I remember how it was when I was in middle school. She struggled. But then she had a complete turnaround.”
Geanna had already split from Nikki’s father by that time, and in 1990, Geanna married her second husband, Wilfred Jones. The couple had three children together, moved into a new home and Geanna got a job as a system monitor for SecurityLink.
“I have never seen anyone turn their life around like that… she did a complete 180,” Nikki said. Both Nikki and Cortney told Dateline they have fond memories of trips to the lake, the state fair and Disney World.
“She was there for us kids, all of us,” Nikki added. “And she did all the great mom things. She cooked for us and came to my track meets. I was just really proud of her.”
But after spending years rebuilding her life, and just five days before her 37th birthday, Geanna disappeared.
“I was in bed when she came in to kiss me goodnight,” her daughter Cortney told Dateline. Cortney was just 10 years old at the time. “She told me she’d see me the next morning. But when I woke up, she wasn’t there.”
The sisters told Dateline their mother often worked overnight hours at SecurityLink and would usually be back by the time they woke up in the morning.
Geanna’s husband told investigators that she had left their West Jacksonville home for work around 4:30 a.m. on November 5. She didn’t return that evening, so he reported her missing the next day.
Just a few days later, on November 8, 2000, Geanna’s red 2000 Ford Expedition SUV was discovered abandoned at an apartment complex in the 5100 block of Ricker Road, about a mile from her home. Her purse, cell phone and keys were found inside the car.
Detective Glenn Warkentien with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office told Dateline blood stains were found inside Geanna’s car. He would not elaborate on details due to the investigation still being considered active and ongoing.
“However, in looking at the available evidence at this time, we do believe there is a strong likelihood that foul play is involved in this case,” he added.
Detective Warkentien said the evidence prompted investigators to request a warrant to search the Jones home. But before a search warrant could be obtained, the house caught fire, destroying the master bedroom. Wilfred Jones told investigators that he had fallen asleep with a lit cigarette and was awoken by the smoke alarms. The four children who lived at home were at school at the time of the fire.
Detective Warkentien told Dateline the fire hampered the investigation, which stalled shortly afterwards.
Detective Warkentien added that investigators have interviewed and re-interviewed family members, friends and associates over the years, but told Dateline in November that there are no suspects in Geanna’s disappearance at this time.
“At this time, there are no specific persons of interests in the case,” Det. Warkentien said. “We would, however, ask that anyone with information that may assist in this investigation contact us.”
Geanna’s oldest daughter Nikki told Dateline it was the sheriff’s office, not her stepfather, who alerted her to her mother’s disappearance back in 2001.
At the time, four of Nikki’s siblings were living at home, including Cortney. They were placed in the care of various family members before going to foster homes. Nikki told Dateline she sought custody of her siblings, but even though she was 21 and had two children of her own, she was not granted custody.
“The past 20 years has really put a strain on our family,” Nikki said. “I just keep asking why wasn’t enough done when mom first went missing?”
Det. Warkentien, who has been on the case for two years, told Dateline that the case is “currently suspended, however, it is also being re-evaluated for further new information.”
Nikki and Cortney frequently post on social media about their mother, asking for new information, hoping to uncover clues that will explain what happened to their her.
“We want to find her… we want justice… and we also just want to tell her story,” Nikki said. “She was passionate about helping others and you could see that in her writing.”
Geanna loved to write. She was always writing in her journal and would pen stories for anyone to read. Her daughters still have one of her journals and read excerpts from it often.
Geanna also had become involved with helping others recover from drug addiction just as she had done.
“She spent so long going to meetings that she actually became a sponsor herself,” Nikki said. “She wanted to help others get their life back… like people had helped her.”
Nikki and Cortney told Dateline that they have never held a funeral for their mother, but instead, on her birthday, they gather to release balloons.
Geanna Jones would be 57 if she were alive today. Nikki and Cortney told Dateline they are heartbroken that their mother didn’t see her six children grow up. Or meet her 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
“I’m not mad anymore, I’m just heartbroken,” Cortney said. “I just want answers. And I want our family to finally have peace.”
If you have any information about Geanna’s case, please call the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office at (904) 630-0500 or JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. To remain anonymous and possibly be eligible for a $3,000 reward, call First Coast Crime Stoppers at (866) 845-TIPS. JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org.